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Can you use your blog to build your email list?
In a word: YUP!
Today, we’re going to go over five effective techniques bloggers can use to build their list and create more income from their blog.
“The money is in the list!” <- Have you heard that before? If you have taken any class, webinar or workshop for any piece of business, you have probably heard this dozens of times. It’s repeated ad nauseam and people are still baffled as to the “how” part of it.
Add to that: autoresponder fees. Most companies charge monthly or annually to use their services. It’s a recurring cost that just doesn’t seem worth it when you’re itching to transition your blog from content collector to business.
So what do you do?
Track your traffic.
Once you get 50-100 visitors to your blog on a daily basis, it’s time to fire up a list.
It will buy you some time if your budget is tight in the beginning.
So let’s discuss some traffic-generating tactics:
An Offer They Can't Refuse
You’re going to need a freebie to give away in exchange for an email address. You can’t expect something for nothing. Make sure you are set up to auto-deliver it.
- Short Report
- Mini Course
- First Module from your Signature Course
- Coupon for a high-ticket course or product
- Trello Board Planner or Checklist
What you offer will depend on your skillset, quite frankly. It has to be valuable and align with the same niche as the rest of your content.
If there’s a disconnect between your freebie and what your reader thinks your content is about, your new audience will unsubscribe at light speed.
How do you prevent immediate unsubscribes? Spend time crafting your lead magnet. Make sure it’s good quality.
A suggestion: use some PLR (private label rights) content and rebrand it. This helps create a quality product fairly quickly.
A few PLR vendors I recommend for this:
- Piggy Makes Bank (written content)
- Ivory Mix (for ebook templates)
- Color Monthly (calendars, planners and pages to color)
- PLR me (written content)
- Publish for Prosperity (written content, ebooks, reports, emails)
- Tools For Motivation (written content, ebooks, reports)
- Simply Couture (planners)
If you seek other PLR people, go for it! Just make sure it is quality content before putting your name on it.
Can I Get A Connection?
Got your lead magnet ready? Great!
Now you need to create an opt-in page for it. Flodesk has a great set of templates available for you to customize. You can check out my example HERE. Cute, huh?
If you don’t have an insanely cute bunny and want to go another route, you’re going to need a cover photo. If you’re not handy with Canva, you can ask for help on Fiverr.
Flodesk allows you to set up workflows so you can embed a sign-up form onto a page or just use one of their full-size landing page templates, then it will automatically add a new subscriber to your lists and bring them through your welcome sequence.
Most email autoresponders have video tutorials to help you, so don’t get overwhelmed by the techie stuff. Help is always a click away. Once the form is embedded or the page is ready, you’re well on your way to getting those leads to build your list.
Coming in For a Landing (Page)
What’s the most important page on your site? The first one people see!
Using other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Pinterest is fine to drive traffic.. but keep in mind that you don’t own those sites. There’s always a risk involved when you build a business on rented internet land.
To mollify the risk, you want to make sure all roads lead to your site’s landing page. Use the sites to glean traffic, but don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.
Get content consumers to join your email list, which will give your a degree of control, as it’s your own asset.
Unlikely Adventures Require Unlikely Tools
That’s a quote from Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, in case you were wondering. How does it apply here? Well, if you’re not familiar with opt-ins, you’re unlikely to consider that as a traffic tactic, so here we go.
Micro-commitments (like receiving content in exchange for an email address) are a great way to grow your email list and you’re going to need some tools to help.
Let’s talk about three:
Flodesk is an autoresponder/email marketing program. You use this in two simple steps:
- create opt-in forms
- paste the code into your blog posts, on your blog’s sidebar, your blog’s footer.. pretty much anywhere you can provide a link
Post Gopher is a tool I recently discovered and implemented, so I can’t really speak to how good it is juuuust yet, but I can tell you how it works. Basically, it auto-delivers your posts as a PDF so people can read it later. The steps:
- Add the plugin and customize the plugin settings.
- Change the colors of the button to match your branding.
- Connect your autoresponder.
- Customize and add links to the emails (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you download it).
- Save your settings and VOILA! Your posts are now available as PDF downloads in exchange for an email address.
Thrive Leads is one of the most recommended tools I’ve seen for opt-ins. There are plenty of options for you to create, like a non-intrusive scroll mat that allows readers to sign up. There are also sticky bars and pop ups.
- Download the plugin.
- Create the visuals to encourage clicks.
- The 2-step opt-in is triggered.
Thrive Leads was designed to help you get as many subscribers as possible, so it would be a worthwhile investment. If my other programs don’t work out, I just might switch.
Lock Up the Good Stuff
Let the password be the key.
Yes, some visitors might find this A N N O Y I N G, but it’s effective.
There are a few ways this can be done:
- A content-locking plugin like the ones in THIS post oh HubSpot
- On your WordPress edit screen, change post visibility to “Password Protected” and add a password
- Use Thrive Leads to help
What kind of content should be behind a password?
Highly valuable content with insider information.
You can publish half a post, then put the rest under lock and key: “Want access to this content? Sign up for our list!”
Once signed up, the rest of the content magically appears and they can keep reading.
Yes, some will loudly “UGH” then click away. Those aren’t your people. Let them go.
The people who are meant to read your content will sign up. Whatever the case, you can be rest assured that the ones who DO sign up are interested in your content and your list will be highly targeted, instead of filled with freebie seekers.
That’s the goal of email marketing anyway – to build the email list with those who actually WANT to hear from us.
Bottom line: building your list is a cake walk as long as you have traffic speeding in.
All you need to do is insert forms for them to sign up for your list (in a variety of ways).
With the versatility of Thrive Leads, a good landing page and a value-driven freemium, and a solid autoresponder, you’ll be able to build a list of targeted and interested subscribers in just a matter of time.
Drops make an river, which leads to an ocean.
Get started today and in a few months from now, you’ll have an email list that trusts you and buys the products you recommend.
This is where you’ll find the money in the list.
The Blog Planner
Designed to help both new and experienced bloggers to:
- set goals
- plan content
- build their dream blog business
- clarify your concept
- identify your audience
- brainstorm how to monetize
- daily action item calendar
- growth planning pages
The Business Marketing Planner
Everything you need to get your business started on the right foot. Get all those plans on paper!
- Daily, Weekly & Yearly Plans
- Business Value Worksheets
- Product & Competitor Research
- Pricing Calculator
- Marketing Plan
- Notes Pages